Is Austria easing the lockdown too soon?

Austria's government plans to start gradually easing the lockdown next week. Smaller shops and handicraft businesses will be able to open under certain conditions, with more to follow in May. While some media warn against the move, others see it as the result of a responsible policy.

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De Morgen (BE) /

The perils of going it alone

Austria is not an island, De Morgen notes criticising the actions of the government in Vienna:

“The Austrians provide clarity. But one may well ask whether it is wise for each country to act on its own. All EU members should at least agree on the same principles. If not, the coronavirus threatens to make a comeback faster than the Europeans themselves. The best way to prevent this is to adopt a cyclical approach, easing and tightening restrictions in parallel to the movements of the virus, its decline or a potential renewed surge.”

Die Welt (DE) /

The result of responsible action

The Austrian government's handling of the crisis is exemplary, Die Welt writes:

“In Austria communication was clear from the start. For example unlike [Germany's] Robert Koch Institute, Austria's health authorities didn't zigzag regarding the question of whether or not face masks should be worn. Chancellor Kurz and his excellent advisers displayed great resolve, decision-making and clarity. For days they only appeared wearing masks where possible, and often behind plexiglass, which is exemplary. ... Other measures such as random sampling of healthy citizens to expose hidden infections have already been carried out and evaluated in Austria. ... Those who act so responsibly can gradually loosen restrictions and slowly revive the economy.”